Should we give Obama a break on his vacation time?
David Frum thinks we should:
How do you score partisan points against a president who looks to have won a military victory in Libya at very low cost? Simple: Attack him for being away from Washington at a summer house when the victory was won.
That line of attack was tested by some Republican talkers and bloggers this weekend. I wonder if we'll hear more of it in the coming days.
Almost nothing in American politics drives more people to say more ridiculous things than the subject of presidential summer vacations.
Back during the George W. Bush years, Democrats sneered and scoffed at the 43rd president's extended visits to his Crawford, Texas, ranch. Where was the guy's work ethic?
Now the shoe is on the other foot. President Barack Obama has, for the second summer in a row, rented an expensive compound on the Atlantic island of Martha's Vineyard. What a snob!
Let's dial back and introduce some reality to this partisan point-scoring.
The president of the United States never gets a vacation, not really. The nuclear football follows wherever the president goes. He receives the daily intelligence briefing every morning, including Christmas. The decisions never stop, the cares of state never lighten, the burden of responsibility is never lifted.
OK, OK - we get it. A president who goes golfing 76 times isn't really golfing because the nuclear football is always with him and being president is a tough job. Right.
Except criticism of Obama going on vacation is not limited to the right - it is universal. Many on the left have taken the president to task, not only for vacationing while the rest of America is hurting, but also for his choice of vacation spot - the estate of a rich crony.
This is hardly a "partisan" criticism and Frum would know this if he wasn't always so blessedly eager to tear at conservatives who don't think very much of him.
I would also point out that criticism of Obama going on vacation predates the rebel march into Tripoli by several days. To suggest that the criticism is pushback against some imagined Obama triumph ignores that reality as well.
All in all, Frum misses the mark - as usual - in his eagerness to show what kind of a "no labels" guy he truly is.
Except, we can easily label Frum as a dunce. Both sides would probably agree with that.